The travel writer job is not your typical job! It’s a constant fun-filled adventure. When you travel, you can write about it. You can make money as you travel. Furthermore, you can receive FREE TRAVEL for your efforts. Wipe the sweat from the face because you can handle traveling from place to place. You can handle those editors and publishing companies. Most people only dream about being you, the travel writer!
Here is an excerpt from Laura Bell’s article “I Should Have Known Better…and So Should You!” posted on Writer’s Weekly:
“I had just finished submitting an op-ed piece to my distribution list. Sat down; took a breath; and the phone rang. Yes, “I just sent you that piece. You’re going to buy it.” (A great big silent scream of, yea, I am going to published here!) The editor asked me to write one additional paragraph, which I did in about five minutes. I sent the addition back in and that’s when things started going wrong.”
“Her next email told me that they pay, ugh, $150. I didn’t care at the moment. I just wanted my byline in that paper so much I couldn’t think straight. Attached to the next email were: a vendor agreement, a writer’s agreement and a W2.”
“It didn’t occur to me until several days later to find out if they paid on acceptance or publication. I had a friend who had written for the same pub for years. She assured me her checks came very quickly. I finally discovered that was true because she was turning in copy for a section that ran every week. No, they paid on publication, declared my editor, when I questioned her. There was nothing in the writer’s agreement that mentioned when one gets paid. I have found this be true several times this past year.”
What can travel writers learn from Beth? Read the writer’s agreement over and over again. Make sure the payment terms are solid. DO NOT AGREE TO WRITE ANYTHING UNTIL THE PAYMENT TERMS ARE CLEAR! Call the editor as many times as it takes until you receive a definite answer about payments. This includes the turn-around time. Do not let the editor intimidate you. If they were in your shoes, they would do the same thing. But, they are fat and happy receiving a guaranteed salary!
Other adventures in travel writing include rejection, finding opportunities, receiving FREE travel, and publishing. Take rejection with a “grain of salt.” Every travel writer will receive a rejection letter here and there. If you are lucky, the editor will give you feedback. Take the feedback, improve your work, and become published!
Sometimes you must make your own opportunities! Start by visiting TravelWriters.com and Freelancing Gigs. See what opportunities are out there and apply for them. Contact the editors of your local newspapers. If you are a fantastic writer who writes opinion pieces, about art, or sports — let them know. It’s one way to get your foot in the door. You may start out by writing opinion pieces then move to the travel section!
Finally, FREE TRAVEL is always nice. One way to receive free travel is to write for magazines who will “fall in love” with your writing and send you around the world! Give Travel + Leisure a call, pitch your story, and do not take NO for answer. At least have them tell you what it will take for you to write for them.
Another way to receive free travel is to sign up with CBS.com and The Amazing Race! Travelocity is giving away the same trips the contestants win. The first trip is to Belize. You could be on your way to Central America. Unless, I win the Belize trip, and I will be on my way to Belize. I’ll send you a postcard!